Monday, August 3, 2009

Bromances and Baseball

I realize this is a few days late, now that the trade deadline has come and gone, but there is a storyline that wasn't covered too much. Most stories deal with usually the winners and losers, and what big star went from the basement of their division to the penthouse for a playoff run. In later years, we find out guys like Scott Kazmir or Jeff Bagwell are "the prospects to be named later," that get traded. But on Friday when the Red Sox traded for Victor Martinez, it changed the dynamic of two MLB clubhouses.

To get the All-Star slugger, the Red Sox had to give up 3 players, including the guy who's been solid in the Boston bullpen the last two years, Justin Masterson. Normally here I would complain as to why we traded Masterson instead of sure fire Hall of Famer Clay Buchholz, but the personal affect it has on the players. During an interview right after being traded you could tell Masterson was shell shocked.

Normally guys say after being traded, "Hey, this is a business, and I can't wait to start the new part of my career in (insert city name here)." While Masterson did have a touch of this in his comments after being traded, he also talked about how he would miss his teammates. After all, many of these guys have come upt through the Red Sox system. With at least one teammate, the feeling was mutual.

"It kind of stinks a little bit," Sox reliever Manny Delcarman told Monique Walker of the Boston Globe before the game on Friday. And take a look at this comment straight from the article:

“He gets along with everybody,’’ said Delcarmen, as his voice cracked. “He would give me a hug, and I would feel good about myself.’’

Sounds like it's getting hot and heavy in the Sox Bullpen. I haven't seen this much man love since Iceman and Maverick.

The scene was the same for new Red Sox
catcher/DH/1st baseman/hot dog guy Victor Martinez. Reports say that Martinez was crying at his locker when he heard about the news about moving to a new team. According to most reports, Martinez was a great clubhouse guy, so he must've been well liked too. You'd think moving to a contender would be all V-Mart needed to get over leaving his team, but he did have 8 long years playing for the tribe. Could be all the new handshakes he has to learn that had him sobbing too.

In all seriousness, I appreciate seeing the human side of pro athletes. Too often, all men feel that the true test of masculinity is not feeling emotion, especially in sports. But the reality is we do have feelings, and it sucks losing people we care about. I still don't believe that I won't see the guys I've lived with the last four years on a day-to-day basis come September. Sure we keep in touch with texting, twitter, and phone calls. But this doesn't compare to playing video games instead of going to class, eating cold pizza, and impromptu games of beer pong.

To some degree, I think it's the same thing in a Major League club house. These guys spend more than 150 games with eachother. In the bullpen, you spend most of the game in a cramped space trying to pass the time until you're called on to pitch. I can't speak from experience, but my guess is you get to know each other pretty well under circumstances like that.

So both Masterson and Martinez are already making impacts on their new teams. Masterson pitched three scoreless innings on Saturday, striking out four in an extra innings win for the Indians. Martinez played a big part in the Red Sox hit parade Sunday, where he went 5-6 with four RBIs in the win. These guys have proved that they can perform with their new teams. With 2 months in the regular season left, these guys will have plenty of time to make new friends and be happy in their new surroundings. It's all going to be fine. Ok, the end was really a pep talk for me getting on with my life, growing up, and getting over my bromances.

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